Seven hi-tech gifts to raise a jingle: electronic stocking fillers reach the shelves, just in time for Christmas
From a watch designed for runners to a camera-equipped drone, an exciting assortment of fully-loaded gadgets is available this festive season
Along with hankies, underwear and the ubiquitous boxed chocolates, tech gifts can fail to hit the mark.
A set of cleaning tools for your laptop – and yes, I have received such a gift – is about as welcome as a car washing kit. But there are products fresh on the market aimed at pleasing everyone – from tech dinosaur to gadget-obsessed geek.
1. At the top of just about any wish list would have to be the latest Apple Watch Series 2, where function finally meets fashion in a sport watch. On the shelves in time for Christmas is the Apple Watch Nike+, a model made specifically for runners. Its lightweight, “breathable” band is more comfortable to wear, and a shortcut on the distraction-free interface takes the wearer straight to their vital stats, such as run map, calorie count, and step tracker. Tapping into Nike’s existing Run Club software, the watch delivers personalised coaching, recommends fitness gear, and provides access to nearby fitness events. Maybe this is the ultimate gift to self? Go on, you know you want one.
2. Another must have is the latest in digital photography and videography: a camera-equipped drone. Now that leading brand DJI has opened a flagship store in Causeway Bay, everyone can come and watch demonstrations of these babies in action. The DJI Phantom 4 is the most popular drone because it’s easy to fly and has a seriously good camera, but other models are worth checking out as well.
3. Further on the fun front, who could resist a lovable rascal from the latest Star Wars adventure brought to life in their own living room? The app-enabled BB-8 droid by Sphero is part toy, part robotic companion. Guided via smartphone or voice commands, the small, ball-like gadget can be sent on patrol to investigate your surroundings, record and view holographic messages and even project video footage, R2D2 style.
4. Give someone the gift of “me time” with the latest QuietComfort wireless headphones from Bose. Re-engineered with Bluetooth connectivity and advanced noise-cancellation technology, they are the gold standard in unplugged listening pleasure. And with 20 hours of battery life, the wearer can block out the rest of the world for almost a full day and night.
5. Empower coffee aficionados to programme a brew from their phone with Nespresso’s first connected machine. The Prodigio offers dual functionality: dial up for the perfect brew remotely, without leaving the couch; or order more capsules to be delivered to your door. The technology prompts you when supplies are running low, so you’ll never fall short of a caffeine fix.
6. There’s one thing that everyone needs: the gift of battery life. The third-generation Powerstation from Mophie is a universal battery packed with more power than two recharges for a smartphone. Pop it into your handbag or backpack to power up on the go. With two USB ports, you can charge multiple devices at once.
7. In the category of cheap but useful stocking fillers, a Bluetooth-enabled tracker like Tile Mate may put an end to lost keys, or the rush for luggage on the baggage carousel. When prompted via smartphone, this tiny device plays a tune when prompted, leading you straight to whatever it’s attached to.
For the office Secret Santa, here’s some ideas to get everyone talking: a wireless waterproof speaker that lets you sing along in the shower from VicSting; or a self-heating butter knife, Spread That! from Amazon.